Madonn', all of il bel paese is a mindblowing museum, foodie paradise, and more. Rome, Venice, Florence, Sicily, Pisa, Naples -- so many of the most iconic destinations in travel. If you haven't been here, you must remedy that immediately.

Cover photo: Daniel Vogel

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Witchy holiday doings in Italy

 Truus, Bob & Jan too!! Never mind Santa Claus, here on the eve of the Epiphany on January 6th (the 12th day of Christmas) a friendly strega (witch) called La Befana comes overnight to leave good children candies and presents and the bad ones lumps of coal (though since every kid (though since every kid has likely been bad once or twice during the year, in their stocking they´ll also get dark-colored rock candy, to symbolize coal). read post    

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Enjoying a vacation rental in a Tuscany vineyard

  Wandering the hilly, narrow cobblestone streets in our home base of Montalcino, a medieval city of interlocking passageways, steps, and alleyways curving around and through and behind and beyond the main square, I reminded myself I was walking through history spanning eight hundred years. Stopping for lunch, I ordered a glass of the house wine. A bottle arrived at the table. When I protested, I was told to drink what I wanted and I would be charged accordingly. Not a bad system, I thought.…

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Venice, Sicily & Clientan Coast cited in 'Using Astrology to Plan Travel this Holiday Season' Still vibrant and popular today, the five-thousand-year-old art of astrology can identify, say, business and romantic opportunities or challenges. And those celestial bodies slinking about the stars can also help pinpoint optimal times and places for travel. And since destinations have their own astro-charts -- which interact with yours -- astrology can even serve as a kind of spiritual travel agent. It can tell you, for example, about places likely to be harmonious or challenging…

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  • My country already has plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - especially when it comes to history and culture - but a new one UNESCO just chose to add for 2023 is a bit different. "The Evaporitic Karst And Caves Of Northern Apennines," in the Emilia Romagna region (Bologna being the main city here) are more than 900 gypsum caves spread over 60 miles (some going down more than 270 kilometres) - and some of them can be visited on tours!
    Evaporitic Karst and Caves of Northern Apennines
    This serial property is an unusually well-preserved and extensive epigenic gypsum karst terrain. It includes a very high density of caves: over 900 c…
  • The last time I drove in Rome it was so chaotic and hair raising that I swore never again. But after reading this cool account I thought, well, maybe in the right hands...
  • A look in The Guardian at how some Italian localities are trying to address the woes of ¨overtourism¨:
    The world’s most perfect places are being turned into backdrops for our tourist selfies | Tobias Jo…
    Italy depends on tourism but despairs at the hordes who descend on its beauty spots. Its solutions are being watched around the globe
  • Coincidentally, my last trip to Italy included a visit to Bologna - and now just recently I read that many travel experts consider it an underrated gem. For the most part, I have to agree!…
  • Having been to Genoa many years ago, I was interested to read this recent piece on the city in The Daily Beast - it's an often overlooked but well worthwhile destination!
    A Once Powerful Italian City Still Has Glimpses of Its Storied Past
    Genoa was once one of the greatest of the world’s movers and shakers, but lately it has been overlooked in favor of its former rivals.
  • "White Lotus" is one of the hits of 2022, and the Washington Post recently came out with a look at its locations in Sicily:
    Advice | Your ultimate ‘White Lotus’ itinerary for Sicily
    Plan a trip to the real hotel and locations from HBO’s ‘White Lotus’ season two.
  • Fodor's recently published an interesting article on foliage watching in Italy:
    You Might Not Expect This European Country to Be Perfect for Leaf Peeping
    A rainbow of warm-hued tones awaits at these incredible places.
  • In observance of Pride, The Guardian just came out with a piece on Europe's ten best gay-friendly destinations - and here's why Milan made the cut:
    10 of Europe’s best destinations for LGBTQ+ travellers this Pride season | Gay and lesbian travel |…
    From Madrid to Mykonos our writer picks the most queer-friendly holiday spots in Europe
  • Each year my home country celebrates an annually designated "capital of culture," and this year the honour falls to the small island of Procida (population around 10,000), located in Campania a short ferry ride from Naples along with Capri and Ischia (if you've ever seen the charming 1994 film "Il Postino", it was shot here, as were scenes for "The Talented Mr. Ripley" starring Matt Damon). Why did this quiet little island beat out Ancona, Bari, Cerveteri, Lake Maggiore, L’Aquila, Pieve di Soligo (Treviso), Taranto, Trapani, Verbania, and Volterra? Check out its tourism site as well as this travel video from a couple of years ago that showcases Procida:
    Discover Procida: The Italian capital of culture 2022
    Discover Procida: book accommodation, transfer and tours for your holiday in the island of Procida, the Italian Capital of Culture 2022
  • In May 2021, my home country's Ministry of the Environment and the storied Italian Alpine Club announced an ambitious €35m, 13-year plan to extend Italy's existing Sentiero Italia (the Grand Italian Route) by roughly 1,000km to form a new path connecting each of its 25 national parks, including those on the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. When it's completed in 2033, the new route, known as the Sentiero dei Parchi (Path of the Parks) will cross each of Italy’s 20 regions, pass through six ÚNESCO World Heritage sites and stretch nearly 8,000km. A BBC Travel piece provided more details and context around that time:
    The Sentiero dei Parchi: A new hiking trail uniting Italy
    The country that created the Slow Food movement is now championing slow travel with an ambitious €35m, 13-year plan to connect all of Italy's 25 nati…
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